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Black Vulture

Coragyps atratus

Despite what some texts might say, vultures are not raptors, which is a term referring to the weapons or talons on their feet. Black Vultures, as with all of their kin, are more closely related to storks. However, these birds are birds of prey and will eat live food if they can find it, especially young and newborn animals such as newly hatched sea turtles. Their primary source of food though, is carrion. Lacking the sense of smell of their cousins the Turkey Vulture, Black Vultures will often follow their relatives who’s sense of smell is more developed for locating decaying flesh.

These birds are uncommon in western North America except southeastern Arizona. In the southeast USA they are year-round residents from Texas to the mid-Atlantic states. These birds range south through Central and most of South America.

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